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Chennai (Tamil: சென்னை ), formerly known as , is the capital city of the Indianmarker state of Tamil Nadumarker. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the fifth most populous city in India. Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengalmarker, Chennai city had a population of 4.34 million in the 2001 census within the area administered by the Corporation of Chennaimarker. The urban agglomeration of metropolitan Chennai has an estimated population over 8 million people.

The city was established in the 17th century by the British, who developed it into a major urban centre and naval base. By the 20th century, it had become an important administrative centre, as the capital of the Madras Presidency.

Chennai's economy has a broad industrial base in the automobile, technology, hardware manufacturing, and healthcare industries. The city is India's second largest exporter of software, information technology (IT) and information-technology-enabled services (ITES). A major chunk of India's automobile manufacturing industry is based in and around the city. Chennai Zone contributes 39 per cent of the State’s GDP. Chennai accounts for 60 per cent of the country’s automotive exports and is referred to as the Detroitmarker of South Asia.

Chennai hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season, which includes performances by hundreds of artists. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for the Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form. The Tamil film industry, the second largest movie industry in India, is based in the city; the soundtracks of the movies dominate its music scene.


The name Chennai is a shortened form of Chennai pattinam, the name of the town that grew around Fort St. Georgemarker, which was built by the Britishmarker in 1640 CE. There are two versions about the origin of the name Chennai: according to one version, Chennai pattinam was named after Chennaiappa Naicker, Raja of Kalahasthi (previously in Tamil Nadu) and Vandavasimarker from whom the British acquired the town in 1639 CE. The first official use of the name Chennai is said to be in a sale deed, dated August 1639, to one Francis Day who was an agent for the British. According to the second account, Chennapattinam was named after the Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple; the word chenni in Tamil means face, and the temple was regarded as the face of the city.

The city's former name, Madras, is derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing village north of Fort Saint George. There is little agreement among researchers about the exact origin of the name Madraspattinam. Some believe that the Portuguese, who arrived in the area in the 16th century, may have named the village Madre de Deus. Others believe that the village's name came from the once prominent Madeiros family (variously known as Madera or Madra in succeeding years) of Portugese origin, which had consecrated the Madre de Deus Church in the Chennai locality, Santhomemarker, in 1575. Some researchers say the name 'Madraspattinam' was in use even before the Europeans came in.

Some time after the British gained possession of the area in the 17th century, the two towns, Madraspattinam and Chennapattinam, were merged. The British referred to the united town as Madraspattinam. The state government officially changed it to Chennai in 1996, at a time when many Indian cities were being renamed.


The city of Madras in 1909
The region around Chennai has served as an important administrative, military, and economic centre since the 1st century. It has been ruled by various South Indian dynasties, notably the Pallava, the Chera Dynasty, the Chola, the Pandya, and Vijaynagarmarker. The town of Mylaporemarker, now part of Chennai, was once a major Pallavan port. The Portuguese arrived in 1522 and built a port called São Tomé after the Christian apostle, St Thomas, who is believed to have preached in the area between 52 and 70 AD. In 1612, the Dutch established themselves near Pulicatmarker, just north of the city.

On 22 August 1639, Francis Day of the British East India Company bought a small strip of land on the Coromandel Coast. The region was ruled by Venkatapathy, the Nayak of Vandavasimarker. He granted the British permission to build a factory and warehouse for their trading enterprises. A year later, the British built Fort St Georgemarker, which became the nucleus of the growing colonial city. Fort St. George houses the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

In 1746, Fort St. George and Madras were captured by the French under General La Bourdonnais, the Governor of Mauritiusmarker, who plundered the town and its outlying villages. The British regained control in 1749 through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and fortified the town's fortress wall to withstand further attacks from the French and another looming threat, Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore. By the late 18th century, the British had conquered most of the region around Tamil Nadu and the northern modern-day states of Andhra Pradeshmarker and Karnatakamarker, establishing the Madras Presidency with Madras as the capital. Under British rule, the city grew into a major urban centre and naval base.

With the advent of railways in India in the late 19th century, the thriving urban centre was connected to other important cities such as Bombaymarker and Calcuttamarker, promoting increased communication and trade with the hinterland. Madras was briefly under Portuguese and French rule during 16th and 18th centuries.

Madras was the only Indian city to be attacked by the Central Powers during World War I, when an oil depot was shelled by the German light cruiser on 22 September 1914, as it raided shipping lanes in the Indian Oceanmarker, causing disruption to shipping. After India gained its independence in 1947, the city became the capital of Madras State, renamed the state of Tamil Nadu in 1969. The violent agitations of 1965 against the imposition of Hindi as the national language, marked a major shift in the political dynamics of the city and the whole state.

In 2004, an Indian Ocean tsunamimarker lashed the shores of Chennai, killing many and permanently altering the coastline.

Geography and climate


Chennai is on the southeast coast of India in the northeast of Tamil Nadumarker on a flat coastal plain known as the Eastern Coastal Plains. Its average elevation is around , and its highest point is . The Marina Beachmarker runs for 12 km along the shoreline of the city. Two rivers meander through Chennai, the Cooum Rivermarker (or Koovam) through the centre and the Adyar Rivermarker to the south. A third river, the Kortalaiyar, flows through the northern fringes of the city before draining into the sea at Ennore. Adyar and Cooum rivers are heavily polluted with effluents and waste from domestic and commercial sources. The state government periodically removes silt and pollution from the Adyar, which is much less polluted than the Cooum. A protected estuary on the Adyar forms a natural habitat for several species of birds and animals. The Buckingham Canalmarker, inland, runs parallel to the coast, linking the two rivers. The Otteri Nullahmarker, an east-west stream, runs through north Chennai and meets the Buckingham Canalmarker at Basin Bridgemarker. Several lakes of varying size are located on the western fringes of the city. Red Hillsmarker, Sholavarammarker and Chembarambakkam Lakemarker supply Chennai with potable water. Groundwater sources are becoming brackish.

Chennai's soil is mostly clay, shale and sandstone. Sandy areas are found along the river banks and coasts, such as Thiruvanmiyurmarker, Adyarmarker, Kottivakkammarker, Santhomemarker, George Townmarker, Tondiarpetmarker and the rest of coastal Chennai. Here rainwater runoff percolates quickly through the soil. Clay underlies most of the city including T.marker Nagarmarker, West Mambalammarker, Anna Nagarmarker, Villivakkammarker, Peramburmarker and Virugambakkammarker. Areas of hard rock include Guindymarker, Perungudimarker,Velacherymarker, Adambakkammarker and a part of Saidapetmarker.
Chennai is divided into four broad regions: North, Central, South and West. North Chennai is primarily an industrial area. Central Chennai is the commercial heart of the city and includes an important business district, Parry's Cornermarker. South Chennai and West Chennai, previously mostly residential, are fast becoming commercial, home to a growing number of information technology firms, financial companies and call centres. The city is expanding quickly along the Old Mahabalipuram Road and the Grand Southern Trunk Road (GST Road) in the south and towards Ambatturmarker, Koyambedumarker and Sriperumbdurmarker in the west. Chennai is one of the few cities in the world that accommodates a national park, the Guindy National Parkmarker, within its limits.


Chennai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate. The city lies on the thermal equator and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature. The weather is hot and humid, for most of the year. The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, known locally as Agni Nakshatram ("fire star") or as Kathiri Veyyil, with maximum temperatures around . The coolest part of the year is January, with minimum temperatures around . The lowest temperature recorded is and highest . The average annual rainfall is about . The city gets most of its seasonal rainfall from the north-east monsoon winds, from mid-October to mid-December. Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal sometimes hit the city. The highest annual rainfall recorded is in 2005. The most prevailing winds in Chennai are the South-westerly between May and September and the North-easterly during the rest of the year.

Administration and utility services

City officials, as of September 2007

Deputy Mayor
Sathya Bama
Corporation Commissioner
Rajesh Lakhoni
Commissioner of Police
Chennai city is governed by the Corporation of Chennaimarker. Established in 1688, it is the oldest municipal corporation not only in India, but also in any Commonwealth nation outside the United Kingdom. It consists of 155 councillors who represent 155 wards and are directly elected by the city's residents. From among themselves, the councillors elect a mayor and a deputy mayor who preside over about six standing committees.

The area of jurisdiction of the Corporation of Chennai is set to expand manifold from its present extent of 176 km2 to 800 km2 pending a decision to be taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu. On doing this the population of Chennai is also set to increase from the present 4.5 million to over 8 million.

Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, houses the state executive and legislative headquarters primarily in the Secretariat Buildings on the Fort St Georgemarker campus but also in many other buildings scattered around the city. The Madras High Courtmarker, whose jurisdiction extends across Tamil Nadumarker and Puducherrymarker, is the highest judicial authority in the state and is also in the city. Chennai has three parliamentary constituencies—Chennai North, Chennai Central and Chennai South—and elects 18 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to the state legislature.
Chennai Metropolitan Police Patrol

The metropolitan region of Chennai covers many suburbs that are part of Kanchipurammarker and Thiruvallurmarker districts. The larger suburbs are governed by town municipalities, and the smaller ones are governed by town councils called panchayats. While the city covers an area of , the metropolitan area is spread over . The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authoritymarker (CMDAmarker) has drafted a Second Master Plan that aims to develop satellite townships around the city. Contiguous satellite towns include Mahabalipurammarker to the south, Chengalpattumarker and Maraimalai Nagarmarker to the southwest, and Kanchipurammarker town, Sriperumpudurmarker, Tiruvallurmarker and Arakkonammarker to the west.

The Greater Chennai Police department, a division of the Tamil Nadu Police, is the law enforcement agency in the city. The city police force is headed by a commissioner of police, and administrative control rests with the Tamil Nadu Home Ministry. The department consists of 36 subdivisions with a total of 121 police stations. The city's traffic is managed by the Chennai City Traffic Police (CCTP). The Metropolitan suburbs are policed by the Chennai Metropolitan Police, and outer district areas are policed by the Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur police departments.

The Corporation of Chennai and municipalities of the suburbs provide civic services. Garbage in most zones is handled by Neel Metal Fanalica Environment Management, a private company, and by the Chennai Corporationmarker in the other zones. Water supply and sewage treatment are handled by the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board, popularly referred to as CMWSSB. Electricity is supplied by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. The city's telephone service is provided by six mobile phone companies and four landline companies, which also provide broadband Internet access, along with Sify and Hathway.

Historically, Chennai has relied on annual monsoon rains to replenish water reservoirs, as no major rivers flow through the area. Steadily growing in population, the city has faced water supply shortages, and its ground water levels have been depleted. An earlier Veeranam Lake projectmarker failed to solve the city's water problems, but the New Veeranam project, which became operational in September 2004, has greatly reduced dependency on distant sources. In recent years, heavy and consistent monsoon rains and rainwater harvesting (RWH) by Chennai Metrowater at its Anna Nagar Rain Centre have significantly reduced water shortages. Moreover, newer projects like the Telugu Ganga project that bring water from water-surplus rivers like the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh have eased water shortages. The city is constructing sea water desalination plants to further increase the water supply.


Chennai has a diversified economic base anchored by the automobile, software services, hardware manufacturing, healthcare and financial services industries. As of 2000, the city's total personal income was Rs. 12,488.83 crores, making up 10.9% of the total income of Tamil Nadu. In 2001, the total workforce in Chennai was about 1.5 million, which was 31.79% of its population. According to the 1991 census, most of the city's workforce was involved in trade (25.65%), manufacturing (23.52%), transportation (10.72%), construction (6.3%) and other services (31.8%). Chennai metropolitan area accounts for over 75% of the sales tax revenue in the state. According to the CII, Chennai's is estimated to grow to a $100-billion economy, 2.5 times its present size, by the year 2025.

The city is base to around 30% of India's automobile industry and 35% of its auto components industry. A large number of automotive companies including Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Mitsubishi, Komatsu, The TVS Group (TVS), Ashok Leyland, Nissan-Renault, Daimler Trucks, TI Cycles of India, TAFE Tractors, Royal Enfield, Caterpillar Inc., Caparo, Madras Rubber Factory (MRF) and Michelin have or are in the process of setting up manufacturing plants in and around Chennai. The Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadimarker produces military vehicles, including India's main battle tank: Arjun MBT. The Integral Coach Factory manufactures railway coaches and other rolling stock for Indian Railways. This very industrial expanse has given the name to Chennai as being the "Detroit of Southern Asia". The Ambattur-Padi industrial zone houses many textile manufacturers, and an SEZ for apparel and footwear manufacture has been set up in the southern suburbs of the city. Chennai contributes more than 50% of India's leather exports.
The city is an electronics manufacturing hub where multinational corporations like Dell, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Flextronics and Foxconn have set up electronics and hardware manufacturing plants, mainly in the Sriperumbudurmarker Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Many software and software services companies have development centres in Chennai, which contributed 14% of India's total software exports of Rs.144,214 crores during 2006–07, making it the second-largest exporter of software in the country, behind Bangaloremarker. Major software companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Hewlett Packard, HCL, IBM, Satyam, CTS, MphasiS, Polaris Software Lab, Capgemini and Accenture have their offices set up here, with some of them making Chennai their largest base. Prominent financial institutions, including the World Bank, HSBC, Citi bank have back office operations in the city. Chennai is home to three large national level commercial banks and many state level co-operative banks, finance and insurance companies. Telecom giants Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer and chemicals giant Dow Chemicals have research and development facilities in Chennai. TICEL bio-tech park and Golden Jubilee bio-tech park at Siruserimarker house biotechnology companies and laboratories. Chennai has a fully computerised stock exchange called the Madras Stock Exchange.


A resident of Chennai is called a Chennaiite. As of 2001, Chennai city had a population of 4.34 million, while the total metropolitan population was 7.04 million. The estimated metropolitan population in 2006 is 4.5 million. In 2001, the population density in the city was 24,682 per km2 (63,926 per mi²), while the population density of the metropolitan area was 5,922 per km2 (15,337 per mi²), making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The sex ratio is 951 females for every 1,000 males, slightly higher than the national average of 944. The average literacy rate is 80.14%, much higher than the national average of 64.5%. The city has the fourth highest population of slum dwellers among major cities in India, with about 820,000 people (18.6% of its population) living in slum conditions. This number represents about 5% of the total slum population of India. In 2005, the crime rate in the city was 313.3 per 100,000 people, accounting for 6.2% of all crimes reported in major cities in India. The number of crimes in the city showed a significant increase of 61.8% from 2004.

The majority of the population in Chennai are Tamilians. Tamil is the primary language spoken in Chennai. English is widely spoken especially in business, education and white collar professions. Sizeable Telugu and Malayalee communities live in the city. Chennai also has a large migrant population, who come from other parts of Tamil Nadu and the rest of the country. As of 2001, out of the 937,000 migrants (21.57% of its population) in the city, 74.5% were from other parts of the state, 23.8% were from rest of India and 1.7% were from outside the country.

According to the 2001 census, Hindus constitute about 81.27% of the city's population, and Muslims (9.37%), Christians (7.63%) and Jains (1.05%) are other major religious groups.


Chennai is a major centre for music, art and culture in India. The city is known for its classical dance shows and Hindu temples. Every December, Chennai holds a five-week long Music Season celebrating the 1927 opening of the Madras Music Academy. It features performances (kutcheries) of traditional Carnatic music by hundreds of artists in and around the city. An arts festival called the Chennai Sangamam, which showcases various arts of Tamil Nadu is held in January every year. Chennai is also known for Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form that originated in Tamil Nadumarker. An important cultural centre for Bharatanatyam is Kalakshetramarker, on the beach in the south of the city. Chennai is also home to some of the best choirs in India, who during the Christmas season stage various carol performances across the city in Tamil and English. The Madras Musical Association (MMA) is one of the oldest and prestigious choirs in India and has staged performances across the world.

Chennai is the base for the large Tamil movie industry,, known as Kollywood, home to most of the movie studios. The industry makes more than 150 Tamil movies a year, and its soundtracks dominate the city's music. Some of the biggest names in the Indian film fraternity like Ilaiyaraaja, K. Balachander, Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Mani Ratnam and S. Shankar are based out of Chennai. A. R. Rahman took Chennai to international fame by winning two Oscar awards in 2009 for the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Chennai's theaters stage many Tamil plays; political satire, slapstick comedy, history, mythology and drama are among the popular genres. English plays are also staged in the city.

Among Chennai's festivals, Pongal is celebrated over five days in January, is the most important. Almost all major religious festivals such as Deepavali, Eid and Christmas are celebrated in Chennai. Tamil cuisine in Chennai includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Many of the city's restaurants offer light meals or tiffin, which usually include rice-based dishes like pongal, dosa, idli and vadai, served with steaming hot filter coffee.


Chennai serves as a major gateway to South India and the Chennai International Airportmarker, comprising the Anna international terminal and the Kamaraj domestic terminal, is the third busiest airport in India. The city is connected to major hubs in South Asia, South East Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America through more than 30 national and international carriers. The airport is the second busiest cargo terminus in the country. The existing airport is undergoing further modernisation and expansion, and a new greenfield airport is to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore in Sriperumbudurmarker. The city is served by two major ports, Chennai Portmarker, one of the largest artificial portsmarker, and Ennore Portmarker. The Chennai port is the largest in Bay of Bengal and India's second busiest container hub, handling automobiles, motorcycles and general industrial cargo. The Ennore Portmarker handles cargo such as coal, ore and other bulk and rock mineral products. A smaller harbour at Royapurammarker is used by fishing boats and trawlers.
Chennai is well connected to other parts of Indiamarker by road and rail. Five major national highways radiate outward towards Mumbaimarker, Kolkatamarker, Tiruchirapallimarker (Trichy), Tiruvallurmarker, Tindivanammarker and Puducherrymarker (Pondicherry). The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminusmarker (CMBTmarker), the terminus for all intercity buses from Chennai, is the largest bus station in Asia. Seven government-owned transport corporations operate inter-city and inter-state bus services. Many private inter-city and inter-state bus companies also operate services to and from Chennai.

Chennai is the headquarters of the Southern Railwaymarker. The city has two main railway terminals. Chennai Centralmarker station, the city's largest, provides access to trains to major cities like Mumbaimarker, Kolkatamarker, Bangaloremarker, Delhimarker, Hyderabadmarker, Kochimarker, Coimbatoremarker, Thiruvananthapurammarker as well as to smaller towns across India. Chennai Egmoremarker is a terminus for trains traveling primarily within Tamil Nadu; it also handles a few inter-state trains.

Buses, trains, and auto rickshaws are the most common form of public transport within the city.
The Chennai suburban railwaymarker network one of the oldest in the country consists of four broad gauge rail sectors terminating at two locations in the city, namely Chennai Centralmarker and Chennai Beachmarker. Regular services are offered in the following sectors from these termini: Chennai Centralmarker/Chennai Beachmarker - Arakkonammarker - Tiruttanimarker, Chennai Centralmarker/Chennai BeachmarkerGummidipoondimarker - Sullurpetamarker and Chennai BeachmarkerTambarammarker - Chengalpattumarker - Tirumalpur(Kanchipurammarker). The fourth sector is an elevated Mass Rapid Transit Systemmarker (MRTSmarker) which links Chennai Beachmarker to Velacherymarker and is interlinked with the remaining rail network.Construction is underway for an underground and elevated Chennai Metro rail.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) runs an extensive city bus system consisting of 3257 buses on 622 routes, and moves an estimated 4.35 million passengers each day.

Vans, popularly known as Maxi Cabs and 'share' auto rickshaws ply many routes in the city and provide an alternative to buses. Metered call taxis, tourist taxis and auto rickshaws are also available on hire. Chennai's transportation infrastructure provides coverage and connectivity, but growing use has caused traffic congestion and pollution. The government has tried to address these problems by constructing grade separators and flyovers at major intersections, starting with the Gemini flyovermarker, built in 1973 over the most important arterial road, Anna Salai to the recently completed Kathipara Flyovermarker.


Newspaper publishing started in Chennai with the launch of a weekly, The Madras Courier, in 1785. It was followed by the weeklies The Madras Gazzette and The Government Gazzette in 1795. The Spectator, founded in 1836, was the first English newspaper in Chennai to be owned by an Indian and became the city's first daily newspaper in 1853. The first Tamil newspaper, Swadesamitran, was launched in 1899.

The major English dailies published in Chennai are The Hindu, The New Indian Express, The Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India recently joined the list. The evening dailies are, The Trinity Mirror and The News Today. As of 2004, The Hindu was the city's most read English newspaper, with a daily circulation of 267,349. The major business dailies published from the city are The Economic Times, The Hindu Business Line, Business Standard, Mint and The Financial Express. The major Tamil dailies include the Dina Thanthi, Dinakaran, Dina Mani, Dina Malar, Tamil Murasu, Makkal Kural and Malai Malar and major Telugu dailies include Eenandu, Vaartha, Andhra Jyothi and Sakshi. The one and only Hindi Newspaper published from Chennai is the Rajasthan Patrika. Neighbourhood newspapers such as The Annanagar Times and The Adyar Times cater to particular localities. Magazines published from Chennai include Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam, Kalki, Kungumam, "Thuglak", Frontline and Sportstar.

Doordarshan runs two terrestrial television channels and two satellite television channels from its Chennai centre, which was set up in 1974. Private Tamil satellite television networks like Sun TV, Raj TVmarker, Zee Tamil, Star Vijay, Jaya TV, Makkal TV, Vasanth TV and Kalaignar TV broadcast out of Chennai. The Sun Network one of India's largest broadcasting companies is based in the city. While SCV and Hathway are the major cable TV service providers, Direct-to-home (DTH) is available via DD Direct Plus, Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun direct DTH, Reliance Big TV and Digital TV(Airtel-Bharti) Chennai is the first city in India to have implemented the Conditional Access System for cable television. Radio broadcasting started from the radio station at the Rippon Buildings complex, founded in 1930 and was then shifted to All India Radio in 1938. The city has 4 AM and 14 FM radio stations, operated by Anna Universitymarker, All India Radio and private broadcasters.

Education and health care

Schools in Chennai are either run publicly by the Tamil Nadu government or privately, some with financial aid from the government. The medium of education is either English or Tamil. Most schools are affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board, the Matriculation Board or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). A few schools are affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board, there are even schools which cater National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board, Anglo-Indian board or the Montessori system. Schooling begins at the age of three with two years of kindergarten followed by ten years of primary and secondary education. Students then need to complete two years of higher secondary education in either science or commerce before being eligible for college education in a general or professional field of study. There are 1,389 schools in the city, out of which 731 are primary, 232 are secondary and 426 are higher secondary schools.

The Indian Institute of Technology Madrasmarker (IIT Madras) and The College of Engineering, Guindy, founded in 1794, are the premier centres for engineering education in the city. Most colleges that offer engineering programs are affiliated to Anna Universitymarker. Madras Medical College (MMC), Stanley Medical College (SMC), Kilpauk Medical College and Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institutemarker (SRMC) are the notable medical colleges in Chennai.
The Government General Hospital
Colleges for science, arts and commerce degrees are typically affiliated with the University of Madras, which has three campuses in the city; some colleges such as Madras Christian College, Loyola Collegemarker The New College are autonomous. Research institutions like the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) and the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) are in the city. The Connemara Public Librarymarker is one of four National Depository Centres in India that receive a copy of all newspapers and books published in India. It has been declared a UNESCOmarker information centre.

There are 15 Government hospitals and a large number of private hospitals which provide medical and health care. The Government General hospital, popularly referred to as "G.H.", is the biggest government run hospital in the city. There are many large private hospitals, among which many are multi-speciality hospitals. Some of India's well-known healthcare institutions such as Apollo Hospitals (the largest private healthcare provider in Asia), Sankara Nethralaya and Sri Ramachandra Medical Centremarker are based in the city, making it one of the preferred destinations for medical tourists from across the globe.


Cricket is the most popular sport in Chennai. The M.A.marker Chidambaram Stadiummarker (MAC) in Chepaukmarker is one of the oldest cricket stadiums in India.and also it is the place where india registered its first test victory in the year 1952. The Chemplast Cricket Groundmarker on the IIT Madrasmarker campus is another important venue hosting first class matches. Plans are also underway to build an ultra modern cricket stadium, near Chennai, which would be ready for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Prominent cricketers from the city include former Test-captains S. Venkataraghavan and Kris Srikkanth. A cricket fast bowling academy, the MRF Pace Foundation, whose coaches include Bob Simpson and Dennis Lillee, is based in Chennai. Chennai is home to the Indian Premier League cricket team, the Chennai Super Kings. Chennai is also home to the Indian Cricket League team, the Chennai Superstars.

The city is home to a Premier Hockey League (PHL) team, the Chennai Veerans, and has hosted many hockey tournaments such as the Asia Cup and the Men's Champions Trophy at The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium.

Chennai has produced popular tennis players such as Vijay Amritraj,Ramesh Krishnan and Mahesh Bhupathi and is host to an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event, the Chennai Open, ATP World Tour 250 series the country's only (ATP) event.

Football and athletic competitions are held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadiummarker, which also houses a multi-purpose indoor complex for competition in volleyball, basketball and table tennis. Water sports are played in the Velachery Aquatic Complexmarker. Chennai was the venue of the South Asian Games (SAF Games) in 1995.

Automobile racing in India has been closely connected with Chennai since its beginnings shortly after independence. Motor racing events are held on a special purpose track in Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudurmarker, which has also been the venue for several international competitions. Horse racing is held at the Guindy Race Coursemarker, while rowing competitions are hosted at the Madras Boat Clubmarker. The city has two 18-hole golf courses, the Cosmopolitan Clubmarker and the Gymkhana Clubmarker, both established in the late nineteenth century. Viswanathan Anand, the chess World champion, grew up in Chennai.

Other athletes of repute from Chennai include table tennis players Sharath Kamal and two-time world carrom champion, Maria Irudayam. The city has a rugby union team called the Chennai Cheetahs.

Sister cities

Chennai has sister city relationships with the following cities of the world.

Country City State / Region Since
United Statesmarker San Antoniomarker Texasmarker 2007
Germanymarker Frankfurtmarker Hessemarker 2005
Egyptmarker Cairomarker Cairo Governoratemarker 2000
United Statesmarker Denvermarker Coloradomarker 1984
Russiamarker Volgogradmarker Volgograd Oblast 1966

See also


  1. [1]
  2. , Annexure I lists these six entities as the licensed cellular operators for the Chennai circle. The CDMA Development Group's official website lists Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications as the only operators to have deployed CDMA on cellular systems in India.
  3. The population density for Chennai city and the metropolitan area have been calculated using the population figures and the total area of the respective regions, mentioned in the Second Master Plan. The conversion rate of = 1.609 km. has been used to compute the density per sq. mile.
  4. In terms of population density, Chennai was ranked 51st among all urban agglomerations in the world with over 500,000 people.
  5. If one types in Chennai in the input box and submits, the list is displayed.

Further reading

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